This article revisits debate about the root causes of civil wars with the aim of providing a coherent framework for addressing such drivers and building sustainable peace. It is argued in this article that the civil war is better explained by the absence of resilient social contract rather than the dominant theoretical perspectives that attribute causation of civil wars to grievances or greed. The resilient social contract framework with its three postulated drivers is used in this article to provide a better diagnosis of civil wars and mechanisms for nurturing enduring peace. Sudan and South Sudan that have been susceptible since their independence to recurrent civil wars provide good cases for testing the social contract framework. This entry argues that the ruling elites in both countries have adopted unitary autocratic system of government that failed to forge a social contract that builds trust between citizens and governments and among citizens as well as failing to address the core conflict issues. The pathway for sustainable peace in the two Sudans is to forge a new resilient social contract that addresses the core conflict issues through inclusive and responsive political settlements and social contract-making mechanisms, inclusive and effective institutions and expanding and deepening social cohesion.
Kuol, Luka Biong Deng (2020) Civil Wars in Sudan and South Sudan, in The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Peace and Conflict Studies. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan